Speaker of the lower house Bronwyn Bishop made it quite clear from the beginning that she was not going to be an impartial Speaker.
She continued to attend party meetings signalling quite clearly that she was going to be a partisan speaker.
Why does she need to attend party meetings? The speaker is meant to be above party politics and provide impartial and clear guidance to the Parliament on the way its business should be conducted. But not Bronwyn Bishop. She clearly thinks that being familiar with government business means that in her role as speaker she can ensure that travels smoothly through Parliament. This is not what the speaker is meant to do it as navigation one important fundamental principle of a democratic system.
Yet today we see this headline:
Bishop has also rejected a record number of Labour Party politicians: 280 (in fairness she has injected six government members during this period). On the basis of these numbers is very difficult to argue her impartiality but then no one, not even a good speaker herself has endeavoured to do that.
The dangerous thing about this particular pattern of behaviour is that it means that the people who voted for the opposition are underrepresented or maybe not represented at all while their representative is excluded from the house.
But then Bishop’s view would be they don’t deserve to be in the House despite the fact they been elected by the people of the Australia.
But the deeper and underlying concern here is that the damage that is being done to the public’s confidence in the institutions of our democracy by this particular government may prove to be irreparable. The disillusion of the electorate is palpable and justifiably so.
Tony Abbott and his right-wing rednecks from Sydney radio stations ran a virulent campaign over Julia Gillard’s broken promises regarding the carbon tax..
But once in government Abbott has found it necessary to break a number of his promises. latest being the cuts to the ABC and SBS.
Now is quite clear that Abbott did promise “no cuts” before the election. But we have the ridiculous situation of ministers of the Crown like Malcolm Turnbull arguing that Abbott didn’t actually do that. He did and that stupid of Turnbull to argue otherwise. All he does is destroyed as credit ability in the eyes of the Australian electorate
The public may have been disillusioned with Julia Gillard over breaking promises but now the problem has been compounded by Abbott doing exactly the same kind of thing. and there is a growing feeling, always strong, that politicians are just a bunch of liars not to be trusted in the circumstances. This is an absolute tragedy for political life in Australia.
It would be fair to say that when oppositions gain the Treasury benches they often find that changed circumstances make it difficult to deliver on election promises.
Tony Abbott’s paid pretend you leave scheme is an excellent example: it’s an expensive luxury we can’t currently afford. It should be highly modified would dump completely. This isn’t a broken promise this is good economic sense
Unfortunately good policy-making, when it involves a “broken promise” gets mind in the morass of bickering that seems to typify the Federal Parliament. And the public is getting sick of it
So what we get is the “Schwarzenegger effect”where people are so disenchanted with mainstream politicians that they demonstrate the contempt for the mainstream politicians by electing a monosyllabic filmstar.
The Victorian election this weekend is likely to demonstrate the disillusion of the electorate by by producing a legislative Council with a balance of power is held by a a ragtag bobtail group candidates from the lunatic right.
What is even more dangerous is that this group, given the nature of the electoral system of Victoria, albeit better than most, still allows unrepresented groups to hold the balance of power in the upper house
This will create the same kind of havoc produced by the inhabitants of political Lala land in Canberra.
When Tony Abbott leaves office in two years, he will have left a political legacy that will haunt him to his grave. it will be that we have seen the decline of public confidence in the institutions of our democracy and the total decline of our respect for our Prime Minister.
Bronwyn Bishop will have made a significant contribution to this. And